Once again, I’ve taken someone else’s original idea and made it my own. Isn’t that what crafting’s all about, anyway? This time I saw an appliqued pumpkin on a quilted table runner and thought, “I can see that as a pillow.” Because a girl can never have too many pillows! Props to Andy for a beautiful table runner, and thanks for the ideas.
When you look down at all the steps and photos I’ve included, you might think it’s a tough, nearly impossible, project to complete. But I promise, it isn’t that hard and you will love your completed pillow, whether you sew or not!
a variety of scraps of orange fabric, a small piece of brown fabric, HeatnBond double sided webbing, 14-inch pillow form, 15.5-inch by 38-inch fabric for the pillow envelope or ready made pillow cover, scissors, iron and optional green fabric for leaf
- This project can be “sew-free” by using ready made pillow covers, available at most craft stores, Target, Etsy, etc. They run from $10-$15 each. Throughout the instructions, I will note the “sew-free” methods.
- Pillow forms are available at all craft stores, but at Walmart, the 14×14 size is only $5.13.
- HeatnBond is a double sided adhesive that allows you to complete the project “sew-free” by ironing on the appliques. HeatnBond is $7.99 for three 9×12 sheets in a package – or – you can buy it by the yard at any fabric store for about $2.99.
- I couldn’t believe it, but when I sat down to make this pillow, I didn’t have any orange scraps of fabric. At my local JoAnn Fabrics store, I purchased quarter yards of five different orange-ish fabrics, and a quarter yard of the green for $1.00 each, much less than the $2.49 charged for each fat quarter used for quilting. And I bought a eighth of a yard of the brown. So, I spent $6.60 on the fabric, and I have plenty leftover for the next idea.
- I chose an off-white fabric for the actual pillow envelope. Although this project only calls for a half-yard, I purchased a full yard in order to have enough leftover for the next idea. The amount of fabric needed will depend upon the size of the pillow. This pillow is 14×14-inches. The fabric was $4.99.
My total cost for this pillow was less than $20 and it took me about two-hours to complete.
First you need to make the pattern for your pumpkin. Below is a photo of my pattern, which is at a 1-inch scale.
I actually drew a whole pumpkin, with the stem and leaf, then I cut it apart. This will help when you begin placing the orange fabric pieces onto the fabric that will be the pillow envelope. Once you are satisfied with your pattern, transfer that to your HeatnBond. This bonding agent will be sticky feeling on one side and will have peel-off paper on the other side. Draw out or trace the pattern onto the paper side of the HeatnBond.
Using a hot iron, attach the pieces of the HeatnBond to the wrong side of the fabric scraps. I used five different pieces of fabric that I had cut to about 6×9-inches. (Clearly I only needed about 4×9-inches.) After all of the pumpkin pieces and stem have been attached to fabric, cut them out. Do not peel the paper off of the adhesive, yet.
For the non-sewers, peel off the paper and on a flat surface, lay out the pumpkin and stem in the center of your ready made pillow cover, making sure you have equal spacing for all five pieces of the pumpkin. Iron in place. Be sure to apply enough heat to make the adhesive stick firmly to the pillow cover, but not so much that you burn your fabric. At this point, you non-sewers have completed the project and you have a fun, new pumpkin pillow for this fall season that is quickly approaching.
For you die-hard seamstresses out there — “Good for you!”
To find the center of what will be the front of the pillow envelope, fold the 15.5 x 38-inch pillow fabric in half ( so that now it is 15.5 x 19-inches). Mark that fold with a pin, as that will be the center of the front of your pillow. On a flat surface, from that center mark, measure out 7-inches in both directions and that will be the full front of your pillow. Peel off the paper and, as shown above, lay out the pumpkin and stem in the center, making sure you have equal spacing for all five pieces of the pumpkin. Iron in place. Be sure to apply enough heat to make the adhesive stick firmly to the fabric, but not so much that you burn your fabric.
At this point, if you are not interested in adding a dimensional leaf to your project and if you are not interested in also sewing the applique down, you can skip to the Pillow Envelope instructions. I like the visual of the stitching on the applique, so I also sewed around the edges of the applique. And, I wanted a leaf that would add dimension to the pillow.
Using the scrap of green fabric, I made a leaf, sewing wrong sides together, turning and then sewing a edge and leaf veins. I set it aside.
As I said, I like the look of stitching around the applique, so I did take the time to sew around all of the pumpkin pieces and the stem. Afterwards, I attached the leaf with a few stitches. And then, the front of my pumpkin pillow was finally done.
On the two 15.5-inch edges of the pillow fabric, and turning wrong sides in, sew a quarter inch down, then sew another 6/8-inch down (the standard seam allowance in sewing), forming a hem. This will give the back of your pillow envelope a nice, flat and finished look. Press/iron out any wrinkles.
Lay the fabric face-up on a flat service. I use my ironing board as my flat service, which is why I’m always buying new ironing board covers. The pumpkin applique should be facing you. Now bring up one hemmed end of the long strip of fabric, then bring up the other end and over lap until they are 6-7 inches overlapped, right sides together — as shown above. Pin together.
This is the easiest method of making pillows eve known to man-kind. Just one piece of fabric does the trick. Two sides to sew at 6/8-inch, then trim the seams, and turn the pillow right side out. Insert the pillow form and you can call this project completed!
I love mine and I have an idea for another one that I’ll share later.